n_head.gif NO.91
May31, 2010

mail.gif  REQUEST
Implementation of the Japan-ASEAN Technical
Exchange Program

 The Japanese Government has been implementing°»The Program forJapan-ASEANTechnical Exchanges°… for a five-year periodstarting in 2005.
 The purpose of the program,which applies to ASEAN member countries,is to get a grasp of those countries°« needs fortimely and precise cooperation. To this end,Japanese Government officials have been°°exchanging opinions with off icials of ASEAN countries in charge of their agricultural°°policies in order to get a grasp of the°°directions of their agricultural and rural policies.

 Commissioned by the Japanese Government,°°IDACA implemented the program for°°FY2009, the final fiscal year of the program.
 In implementing the program, we engaged in three activities: holding a seminar on agricultural policies, holding a regional sympo-sium, and conducting follow-up activities for those who participated in ICA/IDACA programs
during the previous fiscal years. The seminar on agricultural policies was held on October 8 and 9, 2009 in Tokyo, with the participation of 31 persons, including officials incharge of agricultural policy and representatives of agricultural cooperatives. With food security and boosting of food production positioned as fundamental issues and °»ASEAN Agricultural Cooperative Business Networking°… as the topic of discussions, the seminar participants exchanged opinions on the role of agricultural cooperatives, which are farmers°« autonomous organizations, inagricultural and rural development policies.
 The regional symposium was held on March 4 and 5, 2010 in Chiang Mai, Thailand under the theme of °»Strengthening Agricultural Cooperative Business Networking and Alliance, in Support of the ASEAN Integration°°in 2015°… and with cooperation from the ASEAN Secretariat and the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Participating in this symposium were 32 people, including officials in charge of agricultural policy, representatives°°of agricultural cooperatives, and representatives of ACEDAC (ASEAN Center for Education and Development of Agricultural-Cooperatives). At the symposium,mutual consent was reached after consultations on the following matters: (1) to set up an agricultural business network secretariat (adhoc secretariat) at the national level in all°°ASEAN member countries under cooperation between their governments and agricultural cooperatives; and (2) to hold a meeting of the regional board of directors consisting of the secretariats of the various countries at least°°twice a year. In addition, consultations were held on the roles and functions of the secretariats of the various countries, the regional board of directors, and ACEDAC.
 Follow-up activities for those who participated in ICA/IDACA programs during the previous fiscal years were held October18-27, 2009 in Vietnam and Thailand, targeting former participants of the ICA training course on poverty reduction and enhancement of farmers' income and other training courses. In Vietnam, we were able to meet°°with nine persons who participated in ICA/IDACA programs during the previous fiscal years. All of them have implemented some kind of project after they returned home.
 Mr.Hoang Thai Bang, who participated in 2008,has undertaken a vegetable promotion project.
Within a short period after returninghome, he began supplying vegetable seeds and seedlings by gaining the participation of 6,000 farmers and four agricultural cooperatives and achieved a great accomplishment doubling to tripling farmers°¶income. In addition,the Hanoi Cooperative Development Fund, in which Mr. Nguyen Tien Phong and°°Mr. Vu Mah Nam °¶who participated in ICA/IDACA programs in 2003 and 2005, respectively°¶have been involved, collected 25 billion dong worth of funds and provided the funds to 100 agricultural cooperatives.
 In Thailand, a project for the enhancement of computer technology and computerization in agricultural cooperatives undertaken by Mr. Suthus Siroras, who participated in an IDACA program in 2003, has contributed toenhancing computer technology, with 3,000 persons taking courses. Mr. Phanuwat Wanraway,who participated in an IDACA program in 1999, has undertaken a Jatropha planting project with financial assistance from JA Zenchu and participation by 7,200 persons.
 We were able to get a glimpse of the fact that those who participated in ICA/IDACA training courses are playing central roles in the promotion of agricultural cooperatives in the ASEAN region. At IDACA, we intend to°°continue contributing in the future toward training personnel who will engage in the promotion of agricultural cooperatives in Asia and other regions.